As it happened: Francois Hollande's inauguration

Key points

  • Francois Hollande has been sworn in as France's next president.
  • The new leader said he would fight for unity and reconciliation, and lead by example.
  • Mr Hollande says he is fully aware of the challenges facing France, including the debt deficit and high unemployment.
  • "My mandate is to bring France back to justice, open up a new way in Europe, contribute to world peace and preserve the planet," Mr Hollande said.
  • After a day of ceremonies, the new president has flown to Berlin to meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
  • All times in GMT

Live text

Reporting:

  • Alexandra Fouché 
  • Olivia Lang 
  • Stephanie Holmes 

Last updated 15 May 2012

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Welcome to the BBC's live coverage of the swearing in of Francois Hollande as France's new president, following his election victory over Nicolas Sarkozy on 6 May.

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Francois Hollande arrives at the Elysee in Paris and shakes hands with outgoing President Nicolas Sarkozy. The two then head into a private meeting at which France's nuclear launch codes will be handed over.

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Guests are in the Elysee Palace waiting for the ceremony to begin. After taking his oath, Mr Hollande will take part in a traditional procession in an open-topped car along the Avenue des Champs-Elysees.

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A formal handover ceremony is set to take place any minute in which Mr Hollande will sign a statement and make a short speech. Mr Hollande, who will be the country's first Socialist president in 17 years, has been active in politics for many years. You can read more about the next leader here.

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Mr Hollande and Mr Sarkozy come downstairs after their meeting and shake hands. Mr Sarkozy leaves the palace with his wife, Carla Bruni, to applause from the waiting crowd. French TV says Mr Hollande did not wait for his car to leave.

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Mr Hollande is awarded the Legion d'Honneur, France's oldest and highest distinction.

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Mr Hollande is sworn in as the new president of France - the 7th president of the Fifth Republic.

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In an address, Mr Hollande says he is "aware of the challenges" that the country is facing and promises to do his best to provide unity. "Our differences should not become divisive. Our diversity should not disunite us. The country needs reconciliation," he says.

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The new president said he would be proposing to the EU a new pact that would not only cut debt levels, but also boost growth. He said "justice" would be at the centre of any decisions he makes. Mr Hollande was elected on a programme of opposing austerity policies pursued across the EU. Later he will travel to Berlin to meet their most important backer, German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

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Mr Hollande shakes hands with guests at the palace after his short speech. Meanwhile, the Elysee Palace website has changed to reflect Mr Hollande's new status but tells visitors they will have to return later to see a biography.